03 November 2010

EPIC eBook Finalists announced!


Announcing the 2011 EPIC eBook Award Finalists

The Electronically Published Internet Coalition (EPIC) is proud to present the 12th annual EPIC Awards. These awards, which honor the finest electronically published books of the year, will be presented at the EPIC Award Banquet during EPICon 2011. And the 2011 EPIC Award goes to...

ANTHOLOGY DIVISION


A1 - Anthology Non-Fiction/Fiction


Bad-Ass Faeries 3: In All Their Glory by Danielle Ackley-McPhail (editor) with Lee C. Hillman, Jeffrey Lyman, D.C. Wilson, Hildy Silverman, Chris Pisano, Brian Koscienski, Trisha Wooldridge, Christy Tohara, Robert E Waters, Bernard Mojzes, CJ Henderson, James Daniel Ross, Darren W. Pearce, Neal Levin, Kelly A. Harmon, Jason Franks, Patrick Thomas, David Lee Summers, David Sherman, Elaine Corvidae, James Chambers—Mundania Press, LLC
Tales From Gundarland by Hank Quense—Smashwords, Inc.
Tales From The Treasure Trove Volume VI by Janet Lane Walters, Karen Wiesner, Jane Toombs, Dee Lloyd, Nancy Pirri, Liz Hunter, Carrie S—Whiskey Creek Press

The Mystery of the Green Mist by Linda Houle, Pauline Baird Jones, Sally Love, Jo A. Hiestand, Morgan St. James, D. Nathan Hilliard, Cherri Galbiati, Jacqueline Seewald, Sylvia Nickels, Randy Rohn—L & L Dreamspell

A2 - Anthology Romance

Directions Of Love by Luanna Rugh, Lorna Collins, Sherry Derr-Wille, Christie Shary—Whiskey Creek Press

Northern Roses and Southern Belles by Susan Macatee, Mary Ann Webber, Isobel Roman, Jennifer Ross, Jeanmarie Hamilton, Caroline Clemmons—The Wild Rose Press

A3 - Anthology Erotic Romance/ Erotica

Bound With a Bow by Beth Wylde, Lee Benoit, Mychael Black, Sascha Illyvich, E.M. Lynley, Will Belegon—Phaze Books

Broadly Bound by Beth Wylde, Syd McGinley, Kathleen Bradean, D. L. King, Cassandra Gold, Will Belegon—Phaze Books

Coming Together: Into the Light by Alessia Brio (editor) with Candida Royalle Saskia Walker, Celia Kyle, Jenna Byrnes, Brenna Lyons, C. Sanchez-Garcia, Jeremy Edwards, Alessia Brio, Heidi Champa, Gregory L. Norris, Shanna Germain, Allison Wonderland, Michelle Houston, Nobilis Reed, Will Belegon, Jean Roberta—Coming Together

Doms of Dark Haven by G. G. Royale (editor) with Jana J. Hanson, Sandra Rychel, Sierra Cartwright, Belinda McBride, Cherise Sinclair—Loose Id, LLC

The Cougar Book by Jolie du Pre (editor) with Jeremy Edwards, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Sascha Illyvich, Heidi Champa, Tara S. Nichols, Craig J. Sorensen, Donna George Storey, J. C. Wesner, Randall Lang, Madeline Moore, Bill Brent, Adriana Kraft, Keeb Knight, Jolene Hui, Dona Lee, D. L. King, Doug Harrison, Brenna Lyons, Emerald, Trish DeVene, Julia Barrett, Blue Canyon, Shanna Germain—Logical-Lust Publications

POETRY DIVISION

P - Poetry Non Fiction/Fiction

Nuclear Soul by L.K. Ellwood—DLP Books

The Window Into One's Soul by Shawn Blackhawk, T.Q. Sutton, D.K., Rrrose Carbinela—L-Book ePublisher, LLC

Trash by David Halliday—Self-published

CHILDREN’S DIVISION

C - Children's Non Fiction/ Fiction—

Humberto, the Bookworm Hamster by Mayra Calvani—Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

Island Sting by Bonnie J. Doerr—Leap Books

The Villa Dog by Ruth G. Zavitsanos—Wild Child Publishing

EROTIC ROMANCE DIVISION

E1 - Contemporary Erotic Romance

A Proper Seduction by HelenKay Dimon—Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

Adored by Tina Donahue—Ellora’s Cave Romantica Publishing

Allegro Vivace by Cat Grant—Amber Quill Press, LLC

Beauty and the Feast by Julia Barrett—Resplendence Publishing, LLC

Conquest by S.J. Frost—ManLoveRomance Press, LLC

Cowboy Blues by Jamie Craig—Amber Quill Press, LLC

Deep, Dark, Delicious by Tina Donahue—Ellora’s Cave Romantica Publishing

Don't Wait by Elaine Lowe—Ellora’s Cave Romantica Publishing

Good Cop, Bad Girl by Paige Tyler—Ellora’s Cave Romantica Publishing

Heart of Submission by Claire Thompson—Romance Unbound Publishing

Heidi and the Kaiser by Selena Kitt—eXcessica Publishing

Hot For Teacher by Liza James—Publisher:Red Sage Publishing

Insolence by Lex Valentine—Publisher:Cobblestone Press, LLC

Lush Velvet Nights by Tina Donahue—Ellora’s Cave Romantica Publishing

Out of Her Dreams by Fran Lee—Ellora’s Cave Romantica Publishing

Rescuing Amanda by Honey Jans—Whiskey Creek Press Torrid

Ring Around the Sun by Gemini Judson—Eirelander Publishing

Safe Harbor by Tymber Dalton—Siren Publishing, Inc.

Sexing up the Spy by Tina Holland—Publisher:Resplendence Publishing, LLC

Song of the Sirens 3: The Beauty by Morgan Ashbury—Siren-BookStrand Publishing

Sunset Knight by Sami Lee—Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

Taurus: All That You Do by Jamie Craig—Amber Quill Press, LLC

Triad by Cat Grant—Lyrical Press, Inc.

E2 - Fantasy Erotic Romance

Bride Ball by Brenna Lyons—Phaze Books

Mad, Bad & Dangerous by Cat Marsters—Ellora’s Cave Romantica Publishing

The Master's Lover by Brenna Lyons—Phaze Books

The Road To Avea by Lynn Lorenz—Amber Quill Press, LLC

The Sex, Vitrus Saga Book 1 by Laura Tolomei—eXtasy Books

E3 - Historical Erotic Romance

The Bad and the Beautiful by Jamie Craig—Amber Quill Press, LLC

The Haunting of Maggie Grey by Lynn Crain—eXtasy Books

E4 - Horror Erotic Romance

Graveyard Games by Sheri Leigh—Fido Publishing, LLC

The Blue Moon Café by Rick R. Reed—Amber Quill Press, LLC

E5 - Mystery, Suspense, and/or Adventure Erotic Romance

Den of Desire by Shauna Hart—Whiskey Creek Press Torrid

More by Sloan Parker—Loose Id, LLC

Pas de Deux by Jamie Craig—Amber Quill Press, LLC

Rust Belt by Jessica Freely—Loose Id, LLC

Secrets We Keep by Caitlyn Willows—Amber Quill Press, LLC

E6 - Paranormal Erotic Romance

Damned And Desired by Kathy Kulig—Ellora’s Cave Romantica Publishing

Desire to Die For by Jessica Lee—Loose Id, LLC

Faith Revisited by Madelyn Ford—Loose Id, LLC

Foxfire by Margaret L. Carter—Ellora’s Cave Romantica Publishing

Healer's Garden by Nina Pierce—Ellora’s Cave Romantica Publishing

I The First: Eden's Hell by Dawne' Dominique—Purple Sword Publications, LLC

Into The Wild by Caitlyn Willows—Loose Id, LLC

Iron by PG Forte—Liquid Silver Books

McCallan's Blood by Lynn Lorenz—Liquid Silver Books

Mysterious Gift by Carlene Rae Dater—Cobblestone Press, LLC

On the Ragged Edge of the World by Jamie Craig—Amber Quill Press, LLC

Ride the Lightning by Lex Valentine—Pink Petal Books

The Midnight Hunt by L.L. Raand—Bold Strokes Books, Inc.

Wolf Games by Vivian Arend—Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

E7 - Science Fiction Erotic Romance

An Uncommon Whore by Belinda McBride—Loose Id, LLC

Captured by Julia Rachel Barrett—Siren Publishing, Inc.

Fierce Radiance: Space Confederation 1 by Tymber Dalton—Siren Publishing, Inc.

Lord Of Thunder Thunder Series Book 1 by Linda Mooney—Whiskey Creek Press

Scouts by Nobilis Reed—Logical Lust Publications

E8 - Western Erotic Romance

Rocky Mountain Haven by Vivian Arend—Liquid Silver Books

Texas Surrender by Claire Thompson—Romance Unbound Publishing

Unforgiven by Delilah Devlin—Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

FICTION DIVISION

F1 - Adventure Fiction

A Human Reaction by Peter Ashley—LL-Publications

A Lever Long Enough by Amy Deardon—Taegais Publishing, LLC

Effigy by Theresa Danley—Whiskey Creek Press

F2 - Erotica

Between Brothers by Lauren Gallagher—Champagne Books (Carnal Passions Imprint)

Second Chance by Selena Kitt—eXcessica Publishing

F3 - Fantasy and/or Paranormal Fiction

Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between by J.A. Saare—Eternal Press

Frost Moon by Anthony Francis—BelleBooks

Ghosts: Author's Revised Edition by Noel Hynd—Damnation Books, LLC

One Soul for Sale by Cate Masters—Eternal Press

Soul Catcher by Leigh Bridger—BelleBooks

Talon of the Raptor Clan by J R Tomlin & C R Daems—ePress-online, Inc.

Twice Dead by Kalayna Price—BelleBooks

F4 - Historical Fiction

A Welcome War by Kev Richardson—Wings ePress, Inc.

Mephisto Aria by Justine Saracen—Bold Strokes Books

No Darkness So Great by Susan McGeown—Self-published

Sunset on Ramree by Robert Appleton—Eternal Press

F5 - Horror Fiction

The Hollows - Book 1: The Ticking by Ben Larken—LL-Publications

The Sand Dragon by Michael F Stewart—Publisher:Double Dragon Publishing, Inc.

F6 - Mystery and/or Suspense Fiction

An Axe to Grind by F. M. Meredith—Oak Tree Press

Harry by Tim Wohlforth—Whiskey Creek Press

Mute Witness by Rick R. Reed—ManLoveRomance Press, LLC

Shattered Lens: Catherine Private Investigator by Linda Pendleton—Pendleton Artists/Self-published

The Blue Man Dreams the End of Time by Michael McIrvin—BeWrite Books

The Cart Before the Corpse by Carolyn McSparren—Bell Bridge Books

The Gate House by Kathleen Heady—Virtual Tales

The Pot Thief Who Studied Ptolemy by J. Michael Ordenduff—Oak Tree Press

Yesterday's Body by Norma Huss—Wings ePress, Inc.

F7 - Science Fiction

A Star Curiously Singing by Kerry Nietz—Marcher Lord Press

Charlie Runs Rings Around the Earth by Robert Appleton—Lyrical Press, Inc.

Massively Multiplayer by P. Aaron Potter—Double Dragon Publishing, Inc.

Red Dust and Bones by Sandy Samson—Purple Sword Publications, LLC

Rogue Dancer by K M Tolan—Champagne Books

Second Nature by Jae—L-Book ePublisher, LLC

The Azted Eagle by Catherine Wells—ePress-online, Inc.

The Superlative Stream by Kerry Nietz—Marcher Lord Press

Unnatural States by Nicola Furlong—Self-Published

F8 - Spiritual and/or Metaphysical Fiction

The Comet's Return: Alma Chronicles V by Toby Fesler Heathcotte—Self-published

The Rogue Pirates Bible Heretical by John Klawitter—Double Dragon Publishing, Inc.

F10 - Mainstream

A Strange Little Band by Judith B. Glad—Uncial Press

CurvyKathy31: Confessions of a Chat-aholic by Karyn Lyndon—Wings ePress, Inc.

Next Time I'm Gonna Dance by Linda Rettstatt—Champagne Books

Sister Blackberry by Melissa Newman—Whiskey Creek Press

Symmetry by Joyce Scarbrough—L & L Dreamspell

The Goddess of Fried Okra by Jean Brashear—Bell Bridge Books

This Train by Rachel Smith—Whiskey Creek Press

NON-FICTION DIVISION

NF - Non Fiction

A Dog Named Slugger by Leigh Brill—Bell Bridge Books

From Jesus to Heaven with Love: A Parable Pilgrimage by Barbara Garro—Write Words, Inc.

How To Get Off the Merry-Go-Round: Stories o Women Who Broke the Cycle of Abusive Relationships by Milton Trachtenburg—ePress-online, Inc.

Out of the Psychic Closet: The Quest to Trust My True Nature by Toby Fesler Heathcotte—Twilight Times Books

The Cosmic Breath, Metaphysical Essays of Don Pendleton, Introduction by Linda Pendleton by Don & Linda Pendleton—Self-published

ROMANCE DIVISION

R1 - Contemporary Romance

Be My Baby by Meg Benjamin—Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

Divine Turmoil by Rebecca Rose—Lyrical Press, Inc.

Facing Forward by Robyn Sheridan—Wings ePress, Inc.

Going with Gravity by Cate Masters—The Wild Rose Press

Hooked On You by Anne Whitfield—The Wild Rose Press

Intimate Flames by Annette Snyder—Whiskey Creek Press

Just Right by Erin Nicholas—Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

Meant To Be by Donna Marie Rogers—The Wild Rose Press

No Matter What by Erin Nicholas—Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

Picture This by Cate Masters—Eternal Press

Roman Circus by Carlene Rae Dater—Noble Romance

Rx For Trust by Mona Risk—The Wild Rose Press

Sold To The Highest Bidder by Donna Alward—Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

Something Better by Gail R. Delaney—Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc

Stolen Treasures by Laurie Ryan—Siren Publishing, Inc.

The Groom Wore Leather by Taylor Manning—Uncial Press

Wedding Bell Blues by Meg Benjamin—Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

R2 - Fantasy Romance

Everlong by Hailey Edwards—Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

Love is My Sin by Julia Knight—Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

Lycan Tides by Renee Wildes—Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

Myla by Moonlight by Inez Kelley—Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

Ruling Eden by Michelle Picard—Crescent Moon Press

The Prince of Val-Feyridge by Helen C. Johannes—The Wild Rose Press

R3 - Historical Romance

Notorious Eliza by Barbara Monajem—Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.

Pumpkinnapper by Linda Banche—The Wild Rose Press

The Harmless Deception by Lesley-Anne McLeod—Uncial Press

Wild Oats by Margaret Tanner—The Wild Rose Press

R5 - Mystery, Suspense, and/or Adventure Romance

All For A Fist Full Of Ashes by R. Ann Siracusa—Sapphire Blue Publishing, LLC

Breaking Daylight by MJ Fredrick—Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

Common Grounds by Michelle L. Levigne—Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc.

Cover of Darkness by Kaylea Cross—The Wild Rose Press

Eye of the Storm, Security Specialists International Book One by Monette Michaels—Liquid Silver Books

Mac's Man by Elaine Charton—Swimming Kangaroo Press

No Turning Back by Kaylea Cross—The Wild Rose Press

PhDs, Pornography, and Premeditated Murder by J L Wilson—The Wild Rose Press

The Bodyguard and the Snitch by Christy Tillery French—L & L Dreamspell

The Curse of the Carnaval by Anastasia Amor—Whiskey Creek Press

The Midnight Effect by Pamela Fryer—Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

R6 - Paranormal Romance

A Spiral of Echoes by Barbara M Hodges and Maggie Pucillo—Chalet Publishing LLC

Alexandra's Legacy by N.J. Walters—Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

Blood, Smoke and Mirrors by Robyn Bachar—Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

Da Vinci's Lost Years by Sylvia Rochester—Whiskey Creek Press

Dancing in Time by Violet Rightmire—The Wild Rose Press

Deals with Demons by Victoria Davies—Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

Dyad Quest by Ann Hinnenkamp—Cerridwen Press

Eternally His by Carol North—Class Act Books

Feral Passion by Stephanie Bedwell-Grime—Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

His to Possess by Su Halfwerk—Devine Destinies

In Franklin's House by Beverly Lauderdale—Oak Tree Press

Jade Dreams; Sons of Earth and Wind, Book VI by Barbara Clark—Amber Quill Press, LLC

Mind Echoes by Carlene Rae Dater—Whiskey Creek Press

My-Wolf by Linda Palmer—Wild Horse Press

Quest for Love by Jean Hart Stewart—Cerridwen Press

Storm Shadows by Caitlyn Hunter—L & L Dreamspell

Tanaquill by Akalle—Self-published

Ties That Bind by Keena Kincaid—The Wild Rose Press

R7 - Science Fiction Romance

Girl Gone Nova by Pauline Baird Jones—L & L Dreamspell

Temperance by J L Wilson—Cerridwen Press

R8 - Spiritual and/or Metaphysical Romance

A Quiet Place by Michelle L. Levigne—Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc.

Cup of Joe by Teri Wilson—White Rose Publishing

The Family Way by Michelle L. Levigne—Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc.

R9 - Western Romance

A Turn of the Cards by Emma McKee—The Wild Rose Press

Promise Me by Deborah Schneider—The Wild Rose Press

Texas Hearts by Rachel Smith—Awe-Struck Publishing

Whisper of Gold by Meg Hennessy—The Wild Rose Press

YOUNG ADULT (Fiction and/or Non-Fiction) DIVISION

YA - Young Adult Non Fiction/ Fiction

Confessions of a Teenage Psychic by Pamela Woods-Jackson—The Wild Rose Press

Moon Rise by Marilee Brothers—Bell Bridge Books

Spirals of Destiny Book One: Rider by Jim Bernheimer—Gryphonwood Press

Starfire Angels by Melanie Nilles—Self-published

The Cinderella Swap by Linda Palmer—Sugar and Spice Press

The Defenders by Ed Sutter—Whiskey Creek Press

The Stillburrow Crush by Linda Kage—The Wild Rose Press

06 October 2010

Answer to a pirate post

There's a discussion going on on a certain pirate site right now that just raised my blood pressure this morning. In said discussion, the pirates have decided a few things about authors protecting their copyrights. Among those...

1. It has nothing to do with copyright and everything to do with the money.

2. None of them are profiting from our work, and none of them are claiming our work, so copyright has nothing to do with it.

3. There's nothing wrong with them wanting to have "what everyone else can have."

4. We're just selfish people that want paid for every copy when the recognition of people loving our work should be more than enough for us.

5. They should just not talk about us and not share us, because that would teach us a lesson.

My first thought is that sometimes it IS about someone else claiming our work, and sometimes it's about someone else SELLING our work, which offends me because it's cheating my readers, something these people should appreciate and not attack. And sometimes it's even about them taking money out of a charity's pocket instead of mine, which offends me on so many levels, I can't begin to quantify them.

There are many reasons we fight infringement, and not all of them have to do directly with the money involved. Some have to do with the "defend it or lose it" part of copyright. If I don't call it where I see it, I weaken my standpoint when I do defend it. Because, clue arriving for the pirates, you don’t have to profit monetarily from infringement or fail the attribution test to infringe and be on the wrong side of the law. Copyright covers all manner of infringement, including what these pirates admit to doing.

But yes...sometimes along the way, it's about the money. That money pays for bills in my house. Want to know where my royalties went to this month? Buying GROCERIES. Paying for my son's SURGERY. Getting CLOTHING for my children and husband. Buying myself a new pair of shoes, since the old pair had holes in them...the only money I spent on myself. How selfish of me, right? Hardly sounds like I'm buying yachts over here. When my husband was out of work, I paid the MORTGAGE one month with my royalties.

No, there's nothing wrong with people wanting to have what others have...if... If you aren't infringing or stealing to get it. Then, yes, it's very wrong. Because, let's face it, this isn't about the lesser of two evils. No one's child is going to starve to death for lack of a loaf of bread if a pirate doesn't get the ebook he/she wants to read. The only "tragedy" involved is that the pirate doesn't get to read a particular book. Hardly life and death stuff.

Now, I will state firmly here that I do NOT appreciate the way NY Conglomerate works. They allow this discontent, because of the way their bundled foreign rights work. Some countries, like Oz, cause more discontent with their laws about book selling. If they just did what indie press did and made books available in ebook from day one worldwide, a lot of these people wouldn't be so damned hostile. I'm on THEIR side about changing things. Same as I was on their side about access to books they personally purchased. Thank goodness the courts agreed with that point!

But there's no excuse for infringing on those that already bend over backward to accommodate them. My books are available worldwide on day one, in a variety of formats and most without DRM. My books are priced reasonably. My books are available on several legal sharing platforms. All of the things they complain conglomerate doesn't do for them, I do. Which leads me to...

I never said I wanted to get paid for every copy. If I did, how could I support the LEGAL sharing systems out there? I do, which means these people are clueless, at best, and self-centered creeps probably. Hey, I call them like I see them.

Let's see them work a job and not get paid for it, because someone else thinks the recognition should be enough for them. Let's see their kids go without, and then we'd see how they'd like someone calling them names for wanting a little remuneration along the way for their hard work. Because, believe me, this is work.

They don't know me. They know nothing about me. I have nothing against one person sharing a copy or two with friends or with Amazon's built in sharing...or Nook's... What I DO have a problem with is them sharing hundreds or thousands of copies at a shot. That's not friendly sharing. That's piracy, and that's what [this pirate system...I won't give them the benefit of me advertising for them] does. If they can't see the difference, they don't want to see the difference, and that's just says they aren't people I really want to associate with, in the first place.

Personally, I would be very happy if they decided to stop sharing my work. It would save me a lot of time I could be writing new stories to be enjoyed by those that I do want to associate with.

05 October 2010

Bad Writing Advice...

A friend on a Yahoogroup came on with what he felt was the worst piece of writing advice he'd ever heard, but it didn't sound bad to me...just incomplete.

The advice he thought was bad advice? “Don't worry about your audience, just write for you. It sounded good at first, but it really isn’t good advice at all!"

My answer? "Actually, that's NOT bad advice, IF you take the following into account with it. There is a market for everything. Those markets are larger or smaller, but they exist. You can write what you want to write and then seek out the correct market for it and sell it there. That means making the conscious choice to make less money on some works, but it is your choice as author...be happy with what you write and seek the audience for it OR write to the market and shoot for the bucks, even if you are personally less satisfied with what you write."


So...topic for discussion? What other "bad writing advice" have you looked at and said, "That's not bad advice. It's just incomplete or badly framed?"

Brenna

27 September 2010

Censorship, Banning, and Burning

It's September, which means it's Banned Book Week. It's a month that avid readers and authors often get riled up, and we have a lot to get riled up about this year, I suppose.

In current events, there's the whole Humble, TX fiasco. For those unfamiliar with the timeline, I invite you to Maya Reynolds' blog, where she talks about the controversy and the ultimate cancellation of the event. So, you have a librarian with her panties in a wad about books she's "heard" contain sex and drugs (apparently doesn't care that they are cautionary tales about the bad that comes from them) getting a bunch of parents that have never READ the books upset, and a weak school district that rolls over and plays dead to DISinvite the author already invited to the event. When the other authors rise up and protest, instead of admitting they are a bunch of idiots/bigots and eating crow, they cancel the kids' event, punishing the kids for their parents' own bias. Typical...and upsetting to me, as both an author and a parent.

But, does it mean anything outside of Humble, TX? Not really, besides everyone pointing, shaking their heads, and making comments...on both sides of the issue. I know my way isn’t the only way to look at it.

Well, it does make ONE difference. I'll bet sales of Ellen's books jump for a while during the controversy.

I've talked about this before. Banning and burning really only worked well before mass production of books and the internet. These days, if a locality bans something, people go on the internet and purchase it anyway. In fact, banning/burning gives the book and author publicity (here's my five minutes' worth for the lovely Ellen!), and it fuels interest and tempers. Some people will purchase the book to see if it's really that bad. Some will purchase it just because someone else banned it or burned it, to show their protest of banning or burning (even if they don't intend to read the book). Oh, and to burn the book, you have to BUY the copies you burn, which certainly isn't hurting the author, publisher, or agent either. Unless you want to create a mob to break in and steal them to burn, in which case, you're breaking a lot of laws along the way...and will probably still have to pay for the books after the court case...as well as damages to the shops you stole from and people you hurt. And insurance companies might have to pick up a bit of the bill, which raises everyone's rates a bit... I could go into more detail, but you get the idea.

So, what is my opinion of censorship, book banning, and book burning? I'd be glad to share it.

I live in the US. When the Constitution was drafted, the Bill of Rights (which are really privileges we bestowed upon ourselves and not really "inalienable rights" like we talked about in the Declaration of Independence...life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness...I'd add the right to think as you will to that)... Little side note? The ORIGINAL drafts of the Declaration had "the right to own land" instead of "pursuit of happiness," but the idea of people clamoring to own land currently held by others was a little too scary for them.

Back to the subject... The Bill of Rights includes freedom of speech. Not everyone reading this blog will have this privilege in their laws, and I won’t pretend it’s so, but it does color MY perceptions of the issue before us.

Now, every privilege comes with a responsibility to use it wisely. I wouldn't argue that. Yelling fire in the theater is not a responsible use of speech and should be punished. Going on someone else's property to exercise your "free speech" is not legal. Using it to threaten someone is not legal. Using it to hurt someone is not legal. Nor should any of this be legal, IMO.

Beyond that, speech is only free if that freedom is applied to everyone. Anyone else here see An American President? The movie had it right. Free speech means standing there and listening to someone advocate, at the top of his lungs, what I have spent a lifetime fighting at the top of mine. If he doesn't have the right to express his opinion on the matter, I am not truly free. For that reason, censorship should always be avoided.

In the same way, just because I find a book offensive does not mean someone else will not see benefit in it. Therefore, my ability to read what I want to read comes with the reality that others have the same ability to write and read what they find useful to them.

Mind you, censorship is not always the same thing as banning books. I don't believe books should EVER be banned from public libraries. My two cents on the matter. Companies have the right to decide what they will sell. I don't argue it. While I personally think Wal-Mart are complete idiots when it comes to books they choose to ban sometimes, they are allowed to do it to the comfort level of owners/stockholders. But public libraries are not companies owned by stockholders. We all support them with our tax money. To anyone that says a town library should ban a book because it offends them, I say, “Only if I can ban the ones of yours that offend me.” Turnabout and all. If they want their books, they put up with mine being shelved in the next aisle over. That’s true freedom.

School libraries should employ some common sense. If a book would be something beyond the emotional and intellectual level of most of the children in the school, by all means don't carry it on the shelves of that school. If it's not appropriate for a 2nd grader but is appropriate for 5th, have sections of the library that each age group is allowed to use.

But don't tell me that my advanced readers cannot check out a book they are more than capable of reading, because some other parent/s complained that they found the book offensive and didn't want their children "exposed" to it. It is up to each individual parent to make decisions about what their children should read and can manage to read and understand. It is up to parents to prepare their children for the world. Beyond the fact that it does no good to try and keep children blind and deaf to the world at large, how is doing that preparing children for the world they must work in and live in? It's not.

I'm not telling anyone else how to raise their children, and I certainly don't want them telling me how to raise mine. That's the core of this issue. I'm taking responsibility, as a parent, for guiding my children, teaching them my values, using books as both good and bad examples for them... I'm taking responsibility, as a parent, for knowing what my children are reading, watching, surfing on the internet, answering their questions, engaging them in conversation... I signed on to be a parent by having children. That's my job.

I've gone head to head with a UBS owner that tried to tell my (then) 12 y/o that Gregory McGuire's books were too adult for her. I've gone head to head with school librarians that wanted to limit my (then) advanced reader 3rd grader (reading at a 7th grade level) to books for her age level, because a couple of other parents had complained about their children reading "inappropriate material." I went head to head with my (then) 6th grader's "advanced" English teacher and the administration and told them: "She's teaching Mrs. Frisbee and the Rats of NIMH. At home, he's reading The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and discussing the sociological implications of a prison planet. If she thinks he's not following along, it's because he's BORED."

I am something of Auntie Mame. I believe (within reason) in letting the child read anything within his/her ability to emotionally and intellectually understand and to discuss it with him/her. Not every parent is prepared to take that active an interest in their children. Beyond that, my husband and I "assign" our children to read books that will broaden their horizons. In addition to the books they read for pleasure, our children are handed books like 1984, Fahrenheit 451, Animal Farm, Watership Down, and A Clockwork Orange and discuss the books with us after reading them. As a result, my 8th grader's first book report of the year was on V for Vendetta. He enjoys the book and wanted to do the report on it. My 10th grader is currently reading Sherrilyn Kenyon's newest, but the next up on her desk is A Handmaid's Tale. When she entered high school, she had already read some of the advanced reading books for the 11th and 12th grade classes.

Parents that want to ban books are doing one of a few things...or more than one. They are abdicating responsibility for policing their children by trying to narrow what the children have available to them. They are trying to push their belief systems onto other families by saying: "It offends me, so it SHOULD offend everyone. Take it away, so none of us will have to be offended." They are judging other parents as less than them for not being offended or even encouraging their children to learn as much as possible and be well-rounded individuals with (gasp) tolerance for the beliefs of others.

I completely understand the age levels and maturity levels of individual children and groups of children (in general) being taken into account when stocking a school library. But I do not believe in banning books, as a general rule.

Moreso with adults. If a particular book offends you or is not to your tastes, don't buy it to read it and don't take it out of the library to read. But don't try to take away someone else's reading material. Along with the free speech to write the books is the inherent privilege to access those books and enjoy or learn from them. Enough said.

Burning books is abhorrent to me, personally. I wouldn't do it, but I respect the fact that, with a burn permit, anyone can burn anything they darned well choose to and that they own, on a small scale. I'll get back to that. Burning or burning in effigy (which would actually let people "burn" what they don't approve of without purchasing the product and supporting the industry they claim to hate) is a long and established manner of protest. Who am I to say it's not effective? It has a galvanizing effect.

But, I would never support the government doing it. The government engaging in banning and burning makes it synonymous with censorship. I never support censorship.

27 August 2010

Why being paid in the indie way works for you...and against you!

Some of my NY conglomerate published friends do not really understand the way indie press pays on net (read this as your royalty rate applied to the actual amount received for the book from third party distribution sites). For someone that makes the same percentage of the cover price, no matter where the book sells or what price it sells at, it seems counterproductive to use a net contract, but the contracts both work for us and against us.

In most cases, the indie net contract works for authors. We get a much higher percentage of ebook sales than NY conglomerate authors do, in general, and a much higher percentage of ebooks sold from the publisher site than we do with any given distribution channel. The NY conglomerate authors will make the same percentage, no matter where the book sells and a lower percentage than indie authors make, in general. It's a no-brainer to see why the net contact is appealing to us.

The publishers (depending on which one I'm dealing with) give me between 30% and 60% of cover price on all sales from the publisher site. But I get that same percentage (or slightly higher*) on the amount they receive from the distribution channel on third party sales. So, if it's a $6 ebook, and I have a 50% royalty rate, I make $3 on sales from the publisher site but may only make $1.05 to $1.50 to $2.06 on the same book selling from a third party site (35% to 50% to 70% (less 10 cent "delivery charge" on the latter...thank you Amazon) remitted to the publisher and then my 50% royalty rate). The highest royalty rate is currently Smashwords, but that's assuming it sells directly from Smashwords (few books do) and not via a channel Smashwords is the aggregator for...and assuming you choose not to opt into paying people that send business to your book/s.

Now, when does it work against us? When the contract between the publisher and the distribution channel allows the distribution channel to play games with sale price and pass that along to us!

I'd propose that Amazon and the other distribution channels should be FORCED to sign agreements with us that say the publisher gets a set rate (a set dollar amount) on every ebook sold, and if they want to play price games and loss leaders, they do so out of THEIR portion of the book sale and not ours...just as I understand they do with paper books. Right now, that's not the case. So that works against us.

*Some publishers are nice in that they give a higher percentage rate from distribution than from the home site. At one, I get 40% on publisher site sales, but they raise it to 50% from distribution channels, so that $6 book nets me $2.40 from the publisher's home site but that same $1.05 or $1.50 or $2.06 from distribution channels...assuming the distributors DON'T have undercutting sales with each other and further cut my royalty rate by up to 50% trying to outdo each other's sales, dropping me to $.53 or $.75 or $1.03 per book sold, for THEIR greed, their attempts to monopolize the market. And this happens far more often than you might believe.

See why I say we need to make them eat that instead of us? I have nothing against a free market and sales for readers, but this sort of free market hurts the authors and publishers instead of the distribution channel choosing to do it. But when the Big 6 pushed for contracts that said Amazon wasn't allowed to hold sale prices, they were accused of price fixing and are being investigated for antitrust/monopoly issues. I can see why they might say that, but... The obvious answer is to make the distribution channels eat the sale. That works for me. It might not work for NY conglomerate, since they are all about protecting the "price point."

25 August 2010

FABULOUS new contest for romance and erom authors!

What is it? All Romance eBook's Just One Bite Short Story Contest. If you will have a 2500-3000 word romance or erom story hanging around in September (submissions run the 1st to the 28th) that has never been published before, consider entering ARe's contest. No entry fee. $1000 grand prize. Lesser prizes for other winners, including an iTouch and gift certificates for ebooks... And bragging rights for being chosen a semifinalist/finalist. No matter how many entries they get, they will be posting 32 as semi-finalists on Oct 1. From there, there will be 5 rounds of reader voting to whittle them down to the grand prize winner. Even being shown on Oct 1 means extra exposure with readers and bragging rights. Of course, if you make it to at least the 32 slots, you are agreeing to let ARe publish the story as a free read on their site. Since many of us have ebooks on ARe, this works to your advantage, and that's the reason I offer so many free reads there personally. Just a thought for a little extra exposure and promo hype.

http://www.allromanceebooks.com/submissions.html

09 August 2010

How will the industry change?

A lot of people think ebook will replace mass market, and they are using Dorchester's decision as an example. That's not feasible, IMO...not in the near future, but I've said why that is many times. A more even split between ebook and print is in the works, surely, but not the death of print...and not the death of mass market to ebook. I won't bore long term readers with a recitation of it again, but I will give an in-depth overview of my vision of the coming future (within the next two decades or a little more, I would estimate, but maybe as far out as four or five decades).

Yes, the offset printing has to disappear. It's not the mass market/pulp paper books that have to disappear. It's the process of making bulk orders and stripping for returns (or even allowing returns) that we have to lose. It's too much waste: paper, gas for shipping, investment that doesn't get a return... You can already do POD printing and choose pulp paper, which can reduce costs a bit. POD does NOT mean trade paperback. It does not mean certain sizes. I have POD-printed books that are 8.5X11 trade, and I have them in both pulp paper and perfect binding and in comic paper with saddle stitch binding. The possibilities are nearly endless. The term doesn't even mean paperback. There already exists an option for hard bound books (not the greatest hardbound but hard) in POD.

Now, imagine what I've been imagining for years. Big stores like Borders would have the following to replace the broken offset system:

3-6 POD machines in the store, hooked up to central databases like LSI and Booksurge and even CreateSpace that we already use. They could even be set up so that a couple do mass market paper books, some do hard bound, some do trade...

The system would be fully integrated. Customers could order books remotely to be printed AT the store and picked up there while they were out later in the day. Customers could order from home/work and have the books shipped to them. Customers could use in-store computers (like Borders already has) to find books by author, title, series, keyword, publication date, publisher...much like we do now. From that kiosk, customers could order books that are not on the shelves to be printed and waiting for them at the front. They could even prepay for them at the kiosk, if they want to cut down the wait.

There would be books on the shelves, but less. They'd have some classics, board books and such that POD can't do...yet, proven bestsellers, maybe a few copies of new releases, do-dads... The rest would be POD.

When a book is ordered from a kiosk or home computer, a print order is put in for it and delivered to the front desk with a picker matching them to the order slip and preparing them for pick-up. The kiosk can even give an estimated time for pick-up to the customer, who can then go browse and perhaps pick up another book or two while he/she waits. The order slip can tell the picker if the order is intended for a customer that is IN store or coming soon to the store from another location.

When a book is taken from the shelves and purchased, the computer will have one of two orders. Either it will automatically send an order to reprint and shelve to the printer. Or it will not, because it's an older book that is being allowed to leave the shelves.

Will it take some getting used to for readers? Yes, but it has distinct advantages.

1. Books will never be out of stock. NO book in the system will ever be out of stock. It just means a wait for the printer to spit it out. Imagine going to the store, any time of day, no matter how old the book is (as long as it's still in print somewhere), and being able to purchase a legal copy on the spot.

2. It puts NY conglomerate and indie on a MUCH more even playing field. I know NY doesn't want that, but readers do. Yes, only NY conglomerate will be taking up that shelf space most likely, but as readers become more adept at searching for (say) vampire or I/R or M/M in the computer system, they will find indie books.

3. Less waste. Not only in the physical wastes of printing books and investing in that printing that may not sell...but also in manpower. You will have a certain amount of trade-off: maintenance for the machines and pickers in the place of some of the stockers. But you'll need less people to run the store, and more will be able to interact with customers and introduce them to the system.

From a more industry-wide standpoint, you will lose people from the offset printing industry but GAIN people in the production and shipping of the machines. You won't lose an incredible amount of people from the shipping industry on the book side, since you still have to get the paper and cover stock and such to the POD sites. The only ones that will have considerably less work will be the trash men, and let's face it...they have enough work already. Hang on...I'm going to get back to this in a minute.

4. A fully integrated system for home and store. Borders is CLOSE now, but it's still awkward. I am SURE one of the books...or two on my daughter's last order were in the store. We asked for store delivery, but they were not picked from the store shelves. They were shipped to the store as if they weren't there, which is highly inefficient. And back to this...

5. Delivery could be streamlined. We'll assume every book is coming from a store site instead of a warehouse, with this system. People can pick up books on site, but if they want delivery, that can be streamlined into only using a delivery service like UPS or USPS for remote locations and depending on an in-house delivery man for local deliveries, which the computer could figure out, based on store locations and customer address. Less time to get books AND the store can make it worth their while and still have next day delivery.

Say the system has three dozen orders that are within a twenty-mile radius of store 123 on a particular day. You send out a single delivery man with a list separated by cities the orders are from. You charge each customer either a flat-rate delivery fee ($5 per order maybe) or by the number of miles from the store they are and you've more than covered your truck, driver, and gas/maintenance.

Yes, I think ebooks will play a big role, but I really believe a lot of people out there are still tied to paper. Those people will demand paper, but who says it has to be the old offset system delivering it? It doesn't. And if the new system is more advantageous to them, why would readers complain? They won't. The people that will complain will be the book stores that have to implement it. They can't play the returns game. They have to actually PAY for what they sell. And they have to make the initial investment to get it running.

08 August 2010

My impressions of the EPICon 2011 site!

I went up with Lisa to visit the hotel and convention center at Colonial Williamsburg, in preparation for EPICon 2011 in March. What a joy that was! No seriously...no snark intended at all. Hang on for all the juicy details.




The first thing to keep in mind about the site is that nearly everything you need is fairly close together. It's like being on a college campus, but you're not running from building A to building Z. Nearly everything you need will be in buildings A-C.


Out the front entrance to the Woodlands Hotel and to the left, it's just a few dozen yards to the visitors' center. That is an experience in itself. If you've purchased the historic district pass, that's where you catch the shuttle to the historic district and other resort stops. For those with vehicles, you can also drive to many of the entry points. You can also choose to walk along the path from the side door of the visitors' center into the historic district. And your pass to the district also lets you see the historic film at the visitors' center.



You can also reach the visitors' center out the back door of the hotel, down the scenic walk (which will be LESS scenic in March, when it's not fully spring yet, but still something to see). Hang on for more information about the scenic walk and the visitors' center later.

That same back exit from the hotel, puts you just a stone's throw from the convention center building. If you look at the map, you can see that it's less than a city block down the back path.










The convention center is stunning. Nearly every window overlooks the trees and gardens. This is a cross section (about a quarter) of one of the two banquet rooms. You may not be able to see the vaulted ceilings in the picture, since it's a little dark.





I absolutely fell in love with this annex room to the banquet room. The circular light fixture is a work of art that rivals the actual paintings and murals on the walls.







This is the serving nook of the banquet room. Remember that I mentioned murals on the wall? You can see part of one on the right, and the left are huge mirrors.



The lobby is no less impressive than the rest. That's a Baby Grande at the top of the staircase to the lower level classrooms and banquet room.







And, of course, no proper lobby on this resort would be complete without a fireplace. I'm not sure if it will be lit when we're there, but it's a glorious sitting room, complete with benches around the perimeter. Back at the hotel, there are three separate conversation nooks with chairs that match these benches that I'm sure we'll be making use of. That's also where you'll find the gorgeous restaurant where the continental breakfast is served.




I told you about the scenic paths between the buildings. Here are just a few shots of them.





Between the hotel and the visitor center, along the scenic path, is Huzzah! Restaurant. Huzzah! is only open for dinner and serves sandwiches, stew and soup, pizza, and a few other little things...including wine and beer. If you want a drink or someone in your party is not joining us for meals, that's one possible destination for dinner. Of course, if you've purchased the historic district pass, you can head into the district and purchase dinner there. Or you can grab a sandwich, soda or water, and baked goods at the little cafe in the visitor center. WONDERFUL sourdough bread! I'll have more updates about dining and shopping coming soon.













The standard rooms aren't cramped at all. The one Lisa and I visited had two double beds. It also had an easy chair, a table with two plush chairs, a TV hutch, a coffee maker...






















Of course, the suites are even more impressive. The one we visited had a king-sized bed in the bedroom, TV hutch, and a single plush chair in there, which can be moved to the sitting area for more company out there. In addition, the central area contains a kitchenette, shelves, and bathroom.



























The sitting area has a coffee table, two plus chairs, lamps and end tables, and a sofa that folds out into another bed...oh...and another TV hutch.














One of my favorite places is the open area behind the visitor center. This picture shows the stairs coming down from the scenic walk, complete with gardens and waterfall between. In the bottom right of this picture is the edge of a fabulous map table.
Inside the visitor center, you can also find a book store that sells reference materials about the time period and the area (we got to meet an author signing his historical novels while we were there!), a huge shop, information about the historic district, shows, tours, and so forth...and costume rental for any children you might have with you.
I really want to mention that costume rental again. Why? It has some perks. In addition to the kids getting to play dress up ($20 rental for the day for the clothing. You have to purchase hats, but you can do so at a discount. There is a $75 security deposit, but if you return it on time, they take that off the card.)... In addition, they give the kids a list of things they can do with the staff in the historic district...like churning butter or learning about weaving. If you're bringing along younger kids, that's a fun, interactive thing for them to do.
Remember, you still have time to register for EPICon at http://www.epicon-conference.com/

28 July 2010

Memories...No, Not Cats!

It's rather amazing to me how fickle memory is. The mind shies from memories that it associates with unpleasantness or danger, sometimes leaving a panic or unease without context to taunt one...or it obsesses over those same memories, torturing one with things better left forgotten. It stores snips of happy memories. Why are there only snips that can be drawn out and savored? Why not keep snips of the bad and access to volumes of the good? Had I designed the system, that would have been my programming...or at least something coequal.

So the question of the day is about our earliest memories. Mine is of sitting on a porch that has a railing, looking down at a yard in what appears to be late spring/early summer, based on the flowers. My parents have dated this memory for me as somewhere between when I was 8 months and 10 months old. No kidding. They base that on it being warm enough for me to sit outside and the fact that such a porch and yard only existed at the house we lived in until I turned 10 months old. Seems like an odd thing to remember snips of, but I'll assume I was happy at the time, so it got stored away in the back of the mind.

Some things I remember are better forgotten. I won't shy from that idea. There's a reason I write dark fiction. At times, the idea of ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND sounds pretty good to me. Not to get rid of little things like the ex-boyfriend, but to eradicate years of abuse and neglect. Then again, those experiences are part of who I am. If I eradicated them, would I still be me? Or would I be some smiling poppet that didn't have my drive and heart? Would I lay myself open to further pain, if I didn't remember the old? Would I forget to protect myself? On second thought, the movie had the right idea. It's better to leave the good and the bad.

Things I wish I could claim to remember, I can't. I'd love to remember the first story I created. Sadly, that is not saved among the snips...at least as far as I've been able to access. I have writing saved from the age of 7 up, sporadically. I know I was writing then, but the earliest memories I have of practicing my craft come around the age of 10.

Memory may be inconstant, but it's worth a trip down the lane, once in a while. Who knows what side paths you might stumble upon and recover those precious snips?

16 July 2010

NEW BLOG EVENT! Friday Five

Every week on Friday, I'm going to ask a question, and people can give their top five list in answer to it.

This week's question...

What are the top five things you use to procrastinate when you should be writing?

Mine would be...

1. eMail! I tend to obsess over email when I'm dragging feet on a writing project...opening it a couple times an hour. I do it so badly that I sometimes turn off my network to make it a less appealing option. Instead of a two-button action, it takes me minutes to get back online, so it's no longer worth it as often.

2. Facebook! See the description above.

3. The kids. When I'm hot on a writing project, being involved in every facet of their days seems less pressing than when I don't really want to be typing or writing in a notebook. I love my kids and spend time with them every day, but I also usually take my work time as well. On days when I don't want to work, that is a very convenient reason for me not to do it. "We haven't had a family game day in a while. Break out the games. Let's take an outing."

4. The house. Seriously? Me? I loathe housework (love cooking!), but when I don't want to be writing for some reason, I am Mrs. Cleaver. My husband will come home to freshly scrubbed floors, dusting done, three loads of laundry done in a day when I typically do one or two...or -- Heavens forbid! -- an actual trip to the laundrymat to do all of it at once, fold, and put away.

5. Any other writing project in existence but the one I should be finishing.

13 July 2010

CONTEST FOR THE DAY!

My web site is at 24,989 visitors, and I really want to see it over 25,000. Here's the contest. Go to my site, go through the gateway, and note the number on the counter at the bottom of the page while you're there. Send it to me by tomorrow night, and I'll enter you to win PDF of choice from me. Whichever book you want... from whichever publisher.

LEGALESE: By entering, you are verifying that you are adult in your country of origin and allowed to receive erotic romance content.

Come on out and help me get those last 11 visits today!

09 July 2010

EPICon 2011 Classes and Panels Call

EPICon™ 2011 – Instructors, Panellists, and Class Proposals Needed

EPIC™ (Electronically Published Internet Connection) needs classes and panels for EPICon™ 2011.

• Do you have a subject you’re knowledgeable about?
• Have a desire to teach but don’t have time for long-term commitment?
• Do you have an idea for a class that you'd like to see offered?
• Is there a topic that you want more information about but don't know where to find it?
• Want to learn more about publishing, writing, or just be around interesting people talking about interesting things?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, join us in beautiful Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia on March 10th-13th, 2011 and volunteer to teach a class.

Uncomfortable with teaching a class? Then volunteer to sit on a panel or request a class, and we’ll see what we can do about fulfilling that request.

Submit your suggestions, class proposals, ideas for panel discussions and for potential speakers to Ashley and Elizabeth at EpiConClassCoordinator(at)gmail(dot)com. Be sure to include what you’re interested in (top 3 choices for classes or panels) and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

For more information on the conference, please visit
this link.

Elizabeth Schechter
Ashley Christman
EPICon™ 2011 Class Track Coordinators
EpiConClassCoordinator(at)gmail(dot)com

http://www.epicon-conference.com/

# # #
EPIC – Electronically Published Internet Connection™ was established in 1997 as a professional organization for published and contracted eBook and print authors. EPIC™’s goal is to provide a strong voice for electronic publishing—the major publishing marketplace of the future. EPIC™ is non-profit and tax-exempt under 501(c)6.

02 July 2010

Another new review!

"Tygers is a real whodunit. It took everything I had to keep from cheating by turning to the back to see who won. Goodness, Brenna Lyons certainly knows how to put a reader on the edge wondering if they would rather jump or keep reading to experience the full impact of such a wonderfully written suspense novel. The one aspect that made the experience truly unique are the pictures scattered throughout the book to make for a one of kind romance story rarely experienced outside of manga novels. I would encourage you to pick up Tygers, and I challenge anyone to read the whole book; every page; no skipping allowed." Reviewed by Delane for Coffee Time Romance & More 5 Cups!

Grumbling at blatant misrepresentation...

Not about me, but that doesn't make it any better.

Background... We all know that EPIC's eBook Awards (formerly called the EPPIE) have been around for 12 years now. They are the longest-standing eBook awards in existence. There were some before EPPIE, like Frankfurt, but they are no longer in existence. We all know that the Dream Realm Awards are only a year younger.

A new award (this is their INAUGURAL year) is now claiming they are the "a brand new awards program and the only one of its kind" and "the only awards program in the world committed to illuminating and honoring the very best of English language digital publishing."

You might believe they are simply clueless, which still would turn me off from entering their contest. If they don't know the industry, why would I trust them to judge an award in it?

But that can't be said. I know that I've sent them a note about it, and I know at least a half dozen others that have as well. They aren't ignorant of the fact that they are making false claims, but they persist in it.

As if that's not bad enough, they cost almost three times as much as the EPIC contests do and more than three times what DRA does. What a deal. Sarcasm intended.

Brenna

29 June 2010

New Review!

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU

"I loved this book. I was sort of expecting some cheesy romance story about an innocent girl falling for her late fiancé's older and more handsome brother, but I got much more than I bargained for. I was very surprised by the depth in Robin; she isn't just an innocent girl who's been repressing her feelings. She is a strong willed woman who knows what she wants in and out of the bedroom and is not afraid to go after it. She is a portrayal of courage all throughout this story, first by sticking with the one she loves even though he didn't exactly satisfy her sex-wise, and later by going against all reason just to find happiness again. I loved the development of the story also, it was very well paced, the dialogue is rich and witty, and the sex scenes are sizzling. This story is a great addition to erotica." Reviewed by Athena for The Romance Studio 4 Hearts!

CAVEAT: Athena pointed out that she would have liked to see more from the Carson family (the secondary characters). There are currently two more stories from the family WIP. Les hasn't decided to speak to me yet about his lady, but Neil and Barb have...and so have Neil and Les's younger sister, Samantha, who we haven't met yet. Don't worry. There's plenty more to come from Carson Cousins.

27 June 2010

New Reviews!

NEVERMORE

"A supernatural romp of delightful proportions, Nevermore is a truly captivating glimpse of a truly magical world. The line between love and hate is drawn, crossed and re-crossed as the battle lines are drawn between the werewolf and his mate, mortal enemies drawn together by the magic of their world. Short, but sweet, the level of emotion in this short interlude is unexpectedly profound in its brevity. Surprisingly well drawn." Reviewed by Stacey for Manic Reviews 4.5 stars! Featured review!

MAGMON'S HUNGER

"The elements of fire and ice collide in “Magmon’s Hunger.” Ms. Lyons does a fantastic job in building this world and the characters within it. Like a movie, this story unfolds before the reader in great detail." Reviewed by Angelique for Happily Ever After Reviews 3 Cups!

CAVEAT: Angelique continues on to caution that she finds the book "unbalanced," because it shows very little about Diama until she meets Kar but follows Karliss through life. This is undeniably true. As my web site and the publisher's site state, this book is not my typical erotic romance. It has a romance in it and has a HEA, but the book is fantasy erotica and follows Karliss on his life toward a future he's been denied knowledge of...Diama. Please, be aware this is the case. Likewise, the second book in this series will follow a young noblewoman Kar trained to her HEA with another. This series is NOT strictly a romance series and will have this unbalanced feel.

WRITTEN IN THE STARS

"In less than 24 hours, after reading the prologue and first chapter of Written in the Stars, I tumbled madly in love with the fantasy genre. It was easy. As engrossed in this electrifying tale of loss, love, and second chances as I was, it became harder to pull away from it long enough to attend a visitor. To defend my lapse as a hostess, I’m not the first to refuse to be yanked away from a good book! With writing this original and out of this world, the visitor didn’t stand a chance! Written in the Stars is fantasy romance at its finest; an example of how much the fantasy genre has evolved with more room to expand. Everything I enjoy most about fantasy and narrative is right here! Loads of angst and action offset by strong, complex characters immersed in a web of mystical intrigue. The entire story will knock your stellar socks off! The author’s delivery is brilliant, always leaving you on edge as the plot gives way to action, forcing the narrative to gain ground until everything comes together in a Twelfth Night finessed finale. Now you understand why I was relentless in finishing it. It’s worth every magical, sensuous moment, I guarantee. This sparkling gem of a novella is sure to bedazzle you, so put it on your spring/summer reading list." Reviewed by Patrice F. for Joyfully Reviewed Joyfully Recommended Read!

THE MASTER'S LOVER

"Ms Lyon’s has penned a story of sacrifice, fear, trust and redemption. I enjoyed every magical word. Galon is a tortured soul. More than desperate need for physical love, he needs someone who understands his secret yearnings and desires. Anzel, charmed by the young Mage, offers him sanctuary and with each touch, love. But Galon’s physical scars reveal the severity of his emotional damage. Can he believe in Anzel, trust in him to share a life not filled with pain? Read His Master’s Lover to discover how love can heal the most broken of men." Reviewed by Romancereader for Seriously Reviewed Story 8.5 out of 10, Presentation 8.5 out of 10

POISON, LIES, AND NO-WIN CHOICES

"Cruelty and revenge engage in a fatal dance, and the innocent need protection from ruthless ambition, and even the most powerful fall victim to cunning and greed. Brenna Lyons delves further into secrets and betrayals past [in] this wicked futuristic-fantasy cocktail. For newbies, it’s twice as effective if they’ve read the prequel, though not necessary. This tale captivates because it spins an intriguing combo of sexual heat and lots of angst in excess, all tied into emotion, and a narrative that seduces the imagination through every stage. Just remember this isn’t the Cinderella story made famous by the Grimm Brothers and the silver screen. It’s something with one foot stretched into the real world, our present societal ills on full display. Everything is reconstructed for adult readers (like me!) who enjoy their erotic romance tied up with a big bow of creativity that’s edgier, darker, and bolstered by a grown-up twist." Reviewed by Patrice F. for Joyfully Reviewed

WITH GREAT POWER

"Deception, betrayal, and humans with fantastic powers fill the pages of this new story from Brenna Lyons. Once again, Lyons has created a fantastic world filled with vivid imagery and endearing characters. This is a great short story that shows the wonderful talent that Brenna possesses." Reviewed by Cassie for Bitten by Books 4 Tombstones!

CAVEAT: For some reason, the review shows the old cover art from the original NCP release of the story in the anthology ULTIMATE WARRIORS. We have requested a change to the correct art, and I'm not certain how they picked up the old art, but the review is a great one! Thanks to BBB.

TYGERS

"Tygers was an interesting book to read. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure what or who was real, a ghost, a figment of a child’s imagination, or an overreaction. I have to say that that’s what made this novel. The characters are all tied up emotionally and mentally by first the mysterious Ty (who we don’t really know exists or not or who he is) and then by Carol’s abusive husband. The story is intense and detailed. This is a true fantasy novel that will have you aching for our poor heroine. Actually, the one I felt the worse for was poor Keith. Keith has been in love with Katie for the last couple decades and he’s being drawn in head first in to the crazy psychic world of Katie and Kyle’s tigers. This is a great book, and Lyons has a wonderful way with situations and characters." Reviewed by Booktaster for Bitten by Books 4.5 Tomstones!

RENEGADE'S RUN

"Brenna Lyons has delivered a futuristic psychic fantasy that not only captivated me from the start, but also opened my mind to the possibilities of this truly happening in our not-so-distant future. I was pleasantly surprised when I got to the meat of this story; the futuristic fantasy genre is not always my preference, but this one is sure to be one of my tops in this category. The characters’ strength and determination in their fight to be with each other as well as their devotion to finding out and reporting the truth about the deceit and corruption found in the upper offices of the government agencies was brilliant and gave the book heart which set it apart from the rest. This book was full of excitement, romance, sex and blended it with a bit of psychic superheroes that joined together to defeat the bad men (think X-men with a lot more steamy love scenes)." Reviewed by Hockeyvamp for Bitten By Books 4.5 Tombstones!

UNDEAD UNDERWAY

"What would happen if a vampire got loose on a nuclear submarine? This story is a first person perspective account of just that. Petty Officer Bob Leonard is the storyteller in this terrific tale. This short story by Brenna Lyons is a descriptive and interesting romp through the world of the vampire. With enough humor and levity to keep the nightmares at bay, this story is a great read." Reviewed by Cassie for Bitten By Books 4 Tombstones!

UNDEAD EMBRACE

"This anthology shows gives readers a glimpse into the ever interesting and always terrifying world of the undead. Including stories by Brenna Lyons, T. L. Ryder and Terri Pray, this volume takes the undead to a new level. Comfort Food is a very descriptive story with an interesting take on the traditional zombie story. Human Touch- Vividly descriptive and fun, this story is a great read. Long Odds- Once again, Brenna Lyons has woven a tale of intrigue and surprise that is a great page turner." Reviewed by Cassie for Bitten By Books 3.5 Tombstones!

THREE WISHES

"First things first. This is one scorching little story that will have you thinking of cops and handcuffs in a whole new way — a naughty and delicious way. Brenna Lyons loosely bases Three Wishes on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale “The Three Little Men In The Wood”. The story is also reminiscent of “Cinderella”, with Ellie being terrorized and relegated to a second-class citizen in her own home by a wicked stepmother and stepsister. The characters are interesting and the plot erotically charged while still remaining true to the dark and macabre nature of fairy tales." Reviewed by Brit for Bitten by Books 3.5 Tombstones!

THE TEMPTATION OF EVE

"This story is the perfect example of how people twist the word of God to accommodate their own beliefs and actions, and everyone from the most devout Christian to sadistic cult leaders and terrorists are guilty. This actually makes my skin crawl more than the most vicious horror novels. Eve seems like a good person, if maybe a little too naïve, but her maturity and awareness grow throughout this story. I also enjoy the fact that Román is not completely innocent, but has those human flaws that we can all relate to." Reviewed by Lototy for
Coffee Time Romance & More 3 cups!

CAVEAT: This is one reviewer that gets it! The truth is that this book is not technically a romance either. Dark romance? Yes. Absolutely. This is a tale of revenge, loss of innocence, corruption, and murder. If you're looking for a romance book, this is not your typical fare.

Update on travel to EPICon 2011

As I said on the site, there are many local airports. Some people have only been checking the closest one and finding high fares, because Newport News/Williamsburg is a small regional airport. If your airfares into that airport are outrageous, as some people are finding, be sure to check out Norfolk Airport (which is an International Airport, though a small one), Richmond Airport, or the two Washington, DC airports (Dulles and Reagan). To be blunt, my ticket into Norfolk comes in at almost $100 cheaper than a ticket into NPN/W, but others have seen MUCH lower rates at other airports than I have.

The same coach company we have serving NPN/W also serves Norfolk and Richmond, for a higher rate. You can still use our EPICon page to reserve, but be sure to put in the other airport. If you don't wish to rent a car at Norfolk for the hour or so drive to the hotel, this is a viable alternative, and if the ticket is considerably less at one of those airports, it would be well worth it to take the coach that far.

Dulles is about 2-3.5 hours (in moderate traffic) from the hotel, and Reagan is a bit further, but not horribly so. It's a rental car type of thing, definitely.

To anyone that wants to take a bus or train, the station is very close to the hotel, and there is a cab stand right outside that can get you to the hotel. If you're driving in, there is free parking at the hotel.

Brenna

EPICon 2011 is open for registration!

The EPICon site is now 100% up and running, and everyone (member or not) is welcome to register! Please feel free to forward this message...

Brenna Lyons
EPICon 2011 co-chair

The 12th Annual EPICon™ Goes Colonial

EPICon™, hosted by EPIC - Electronically Published Internet Connection™, has opened registrations for their 12th annual industry convention. The convention will be held March 10th-13th, 2011 at the Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel and Convention Center in Colonial Williamsburg, VA.

Why should you consider coming to EPICon?

* Two days of workshops in everything from genre writing to the business of ePublishing, marketing, and IP law, including a class on writing love scenes by NY Times bestseller Angela Knight and a two-hour class on hostage negotiation by veteran police officer Michael Woodcock.

*Affordable pricing! Early EPIC member registrants this year (those who register before October 31st, 2010) will pay $190 for the three-day convention, and non-members will pay just $30 more. The cost includes most meals from the Thursday evening mixer through the Sunday morning breakfast. In addition, the convention has special rates for family members who are just eating convention meals but not attending classes, middle school through college students, teachers attending the convention, and even a deal for three-day passes into the historic district. The convention hotel rate is $109 per night (single or double occupancy), and a suite is just $129.

* A convention that not only offers meal choices at all non-buffet meals but also works with food aversions, allergies, and other concerns.

* A full list of promo opportunities for authors, publishers, and agents. Pitch sessions will be arranged with agents and editors interested in giving them, as well as underwriting for meet and greets held at the convention.

* Free Wi-Fi in all hotel rooms and convention areas.

* All profits from the hotel and historic site passes go to support the Colonial Williamsburg educational efforts.

* Convention materials on CD instead of the bulky old 3-ring binder!

* Something for everyone, from the unpublished author to the published, from industry members to teachers and students.

Registration for the 2011 convention is at http://www.epicon-conference.com/ EPICon is using technology to its full advantage. For those that don’t want to do everything by phone, the entire process--from registering for the convention and making reservations at the hotel to arranging for the airport shuttle and choosing meals--can be accomplished online this year.

Contact: Lisa Brennan-Webb, Convention Chair
Email: epiconchair2011@yahoo.com
http://www.epicon-conference.com/
http://www.epicauthors.com